In a recent Instagram post, Hollywood actor Chris Pratt stated that as he was going through a recent bout of depression, he listened to Christian music while jogging, and it provided an almost immediate release for the actor famed for his leading roles in Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Premier Christian News reports that the depression started after an uproar over an earlier post Chris had made, where he thanked his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, for giving birth to a healthy daughter.
He was immediately attacked by trolls who accused Pratt of mocking his previous wife who had given birth to a son nine weeks early, who consequently experienced health issues including visual impairment.
Of course, this was not Pratt’s intent, but the trolls were relentless and had previously gone after Chris because of his Christian faith.
In his post, Chris explained what happened:
“Good morning, everybody. I went to bed last night really kind of upset and depressed, and I woke up feeling crappy, and I didn’t want to work out.
“I knew, though, that if I put on my Christian music playlist and I got out in the woods and ran, that I’d feel better, but I just didn’t want to. I did it anyways and gosh was I right, it felt amazing. I got out in the woods, got my blood pumping, and God sat down there right there next to me.
“I don’t get emotional that often, but I actually got emotional there in the woods. I just felt like there was another in the fire standing next to me – that’s the song, actually, I think that’s the lyric in the song.
“But that moment, it really captured me. So I just really want to say, all glory to God. If you feel down today, maybe exercise, maybe listen to some good worship music or get the word in, because it really helped me this morning.”
It is believed that Pratt was listening to the group, ‘Another in the Fire,’ that works out of Zoe Church, a Hillsong Church in Los Angeles that Chris attends.
Though at 42 years of age, Chris is certainly not considered old, a study conducted by researchers from Oxford University in 2014 concluded that listening to Gospel music provided mental health benefits to the elderly.
The study, involving over 1,000 participants, was conducted on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. It not only found that listening to Gospel music improved a person’s psychological well-being, but it also showed that the more a person listened, the greater the benefit.
The researchers concluded that listening to Gospel music resulted in “a decrease in death anxiety and increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, and a sense of control.”
In the Bible, we also see the positive impact that music had on King Saul. After God decided to replace Saul as King of Israel, we are told that Saul was being tormented by an evil spirit. It is uncertain what this involved, but some believe this resulted in bouts of uncontrollable anger (1 Samuel 18:8-10).
Three thousand years ago, people were already aware of the mental health benefits associated with listening to worship music and several of Saul’s advisors recommended that musicians be brought in to help Saul when he was experiencing these mental break-downs (1 Samuel 16:16).:
By this point, David had already gained a reputation in Israel as an anointed musician and singer, so he was hired to be part of King Saul’s court.
The Bible states that when Saul was under attack, David would play his lyre and the music calmed and refreshed Saul’s soul: